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China-Africa cooperation on right track: Chinese official

Updated: Dec 8,2014 1:40 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China-Africa relations and cooperation have witnessed vigorous development since the two sides jointly mapped out in 2012 a three-year blueprint for cooperation in all areas, a Chinese official said on Dec 8.

Lin Songtian, secretary-general of Chinese Follow-up Committee of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), made the remarks on the eve of the 10th Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum.

With concerted efforts, exchanges and cooperation in various fields have maintained dynamic momentum, and fruitful results have been achieved in the implementation of the 2013-2015 plan made at the Fifth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC two years ago, Lin told Xinhua.

Under the guidance of FOCAC, China and Africa have explored an unique path of cooperation, said Lin, also director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s African Affairs Department.

First, both sides have maintained closer political contacts, cooperated in international affairs, and deepened political trust, he said.

They have exchanged more frequently high-level visits in the past two years, Lin said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping paid his first state visit to the African continent in March, 2013. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited African states and the headquarters of the African Union this May. And quite a few other Chinese leaders visited the African continent.

For African states, 29 presidents or heads of government paid visits to China during this period.

China and Africa have also strengthened consultations and dialogues. China has held strategic dialogues or political consultations with seven African countries, and joined in economic and trade committee meetings with nine African countries.

Besides, progress in cooperation in other areas has also been scored, said the Chinese official.

Cooperation between China and Africa in important international or regional issues has also been boosted. Both sides maintained communication and coordination on such issues as the reform of the global governance system, climate change, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, thus enhancing the discourse power of developing countries, he said.

Second, the implementation of the new measures announced in 2012 regarding China-Africa cooperation in such five areas as investment and financing, assistance, African integration, civil exchanges, and peace and security in Africa has achieved substantial advancement, said Lin.

Investment and financing to support sustainable development in Africa has been further expanded, Lin said. China’s pledge to provide loans of $20 billion for African countries has been fulfilled ahead of schedule. Moreover, Two-way trade volume exceeded $200 billion for the first time in 2013, and China has became Africa’s largest trade partner for five years in a row.

China has fully committed itself to offering assistance to Africa. Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the Chinese government has so far offered four batches of emergency humanitarian aids totaling 750 million yuan ($122.6 million), the official said.

Also, China has made great efforts in supporting the African integration process, enhancing people-to-people friendship, and promoting peace and stability in Africa.

Thirdly, the mechanism of FOCAC has witnessed continuous improvement. New platforms for dialogue, such as the ministerial seminar on health issues and the dialogue mechanism between environment ministers, have promoted China-Africa relations in an all-around way, he said.

As China is engaged in economic transition and industrial updating, which demands more investment in overseas market, and Africa is in urgent need of foreign investment for its industrialization process, both sides are facing historic opportunity for cooperation, Lin pointed out.